Coffee Tasting at Starbucks Reserve in Valero, Makati

Coffee Tasting at Starbucks Reserve in Valero, Makati

I have a confession. I am not a huge fan of coffee. In fact, I seldom drink coffee. Probably in a year, would only drink about 2-5 cups of coffee. Funny enough that I would be drinking a year's worth of coffee in just a night. All thanks to my awesome office mate, Sab, who invited us for a coffee-tasting in pre-celebration of her nth birthday.

In case, it was not clear. I had 5 different cups of coffee in a single NIGHT. And yes, it was 8:30 PM then. We'll talk about the aftereffects in a while.

Starbucks Reserve in Valero, Makati

Before we dive into the cups of coffee, let me just talk about the wonderfully curated interior of Starbucks Reserve, found along the street of Valero in Makati.

Wonderfully curated interior
We all know that it's the experience that counts the most for Starbucks. Hence, we could always expect that the interior of each outlet would be not short of awesome. The same is true for Starbucks Reserve, but only made even classier and more sophisticated.

Interior of Starbucks Reserve in Valero, Makati

With the ambient aura of Starbucks Reserve, it makes a great candidate for your intimate bonding. A heart to heart talk, maybe? You can also treat this place as a sanctuary to shield you from the chaotic world of Makati. I can imagine myself finishing a presentation that needs heavy concentration in here.

Dwight, Joey and Miguel of Starbucks Reserve in Valero

Now that we found ourselves settled, let's meet the baristas who helped us level up (or establish) the appreciation for coffee. Dwight took the lead in giving us the "talk". Joey and Miguel assisted in providing us a great coffee-learning experience.

Hawaii Ka'u via Chemex and Siphon

For the early parts of the coffee 'seminar', Dwight talked about Hawaii Ka'u, which was the coffee availed by Sab. He explained that this coffee makes a great base for learning the basics of coffee.

A little something about Hawaii Ka'u:
This coffee is harvested from the Big Island, Hawaii particularly on the slopes of Mt. Mauna Loa. The volcanic elements give the beans a unique combination of flavors that is often likened to a creamy milk chocolate flavor with a hint of almond sweetness
Preparing coffee using Chemex in Starbucks Reserve

Two methods of preparing a coffee was showcased to us, and Dwight explains that different methods produce different set of flavors. The first one was via a Chemex (photo above) which uses a thicker filter paper to smoothly sift the coffee. The second method was via a siphon (photo below) or what may commonly called "vacuum" coffee. Somehow, the second method has a visual component since you'll be witnessing the coffee being vacuumed up and then down.

Preparing coffee using siphon in Starbucks Reserve

The coffee was prepared simultaneously so that we can taste them at the same time. This would also allow us to contrast the flavor from the two different methods.

To further savor the experience, Dwight told us that just like one, the first step in tasting a coffee is the "smell" the aroma. Then after, you give a kiss to the cup, and slurp it in. No kidding. You need to allow the air to combine with the coffee to further awaken the flavor.

Sabrina Rivas in Starbucks Reserve

Here's Sab in the photo by the way together with her best friend, G-anne. Belated happy birthday, and thank you for this unforgettable coffee tasting experience.

Now going back, I'd like to let you know that I wasn't able to really differentiate the two. I might be a hopeless case. Still, I was able to appreciate the bold bitterness of the coffee, and indeed there was a hint of chocolate (a very dark one) in the taste.

Dwight holding Rwanda Kanzu Coffee in Starbucks Reserve

The second coffee we had was Rwanda Kanzu which embodies a combination of red currant and Asian pear flavors with a syrupy mouthfeel. This time, there was variation as they made it iced and with milk.

Rwanda Kanzu Coffee in Starbucks Reserve

I can no longer remember the taste of the remaining coffee we had, but what I can remember is that I really enjoyed the experience, despite me being indifferent when it comes to coffee. Everybody was having fun, and we can't help but joke about how we will end up all wide-awake in the wee hours of the following day.

Sabrina Rivas and friends in Starbucks Reserve

By the way, this happened on a Thursday night, and we were all feeling like Titas and Titos of Manila. Interestingly though, the feeling resembles that of being tipsy over alcohol. There was also a rush of endorphins in the body. In fact, I was feeling a little light-headed as well, but that made the night even more epic.

Cold Brew of Starbucks Reserve - Makati

As freebies, we were offered to try 3 more variants of coffee including the cold brew (which I was able to finish off). All in all, we had 5 cups of different coffees.

It was not-so-smart that the following day was a Friday. My body was all awake despite feeling all tired already. And even I was already asleep, I felt like half of me was awake. Surprisingly, we were still in a vibrant mood the following day.

Sabrina Rivas and friends in Starbucks Reserve - Makati

Here's another photo of us in Starbucks Reserve. All thanks to Dwight,  Joey and Miguel for this fun coffee-tasting experience! Of course, thanks to our lovely friend Sab for bringing us there. Cheers!

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